I Hate Windows – I am Afraid of Linux

Below is an excerpt from an article on www.osnews.com. It was published way back 2002.

First, a little background. I am a Windows user who has been using Windows since 3.1. I am not a programmer or a developer, I am a user. I process photos, use the internet, e-mail, write letters, play the ever important games and even use it to develop my comic strips. I am not computer illiterate and I use my computer with confidence and skill. Now with that said. I hate Windows.

Windows is what has always been around and I have always used it. I have seen the “Blue Screen of Death”. I have lost countless documents and information I have so carefully assembled. I have had a complete corruption of my hard drive by Windows. I have updated to new Windows products and found out that vital software programs that I use will not work. I have had to update my hardware to keep up with the ever-hungry latest version of Windows

The first dillemma that I faced (with Linux) is what company should I go with? As a Windows user I really never heard of the many different companies that produce Linux. I have heard of Red Hat and Mandrake (now known as Mandriva). I have read about them sort of on web pages, but since I never wanted to use Linux before I did not pay much attention. I wanted to find a version that was easy to install, I have heard the nightmares of having to configure all the hardware yourself. I read the web pages and decided to go with Mandrake. I really could not make heads or tails of the different distrubutions, even in the reviews. I picked Mandrake because it seemed like an easy install. Why did I have to pick? Why not just go to store and buy what ever and it is the right one?

The install process was long but fairly easy (Thank God) but I was still confused a bit by the File System option. Which one is the best one? Which one is the most stable? Which one is fastest? I don’t want to make that choice. I had to stop and do some research online to find out which one I wanted to use. I never had to do that with Windows. What if I picked the wrong one? Would it taint my experience? What are KDE and Gnome? Which is better? Damn another stall; back to the Net to find out which is better. It seems most people are using KDE so I choose it. Argggg.. why do I need a root password?

OK now it was installed. I powered it up and booted Linux for the first time. I selected my cute use icon and put in my password and KDE booted up. It was nice, easy enough to use. Mount? I have used Mount when I used BeOS (Now defunct) so I knew what that was, but my girlfriend did not. Why can’t the drives just show up like they do in Windows? I poked around and found out it was hard to do some things. I figured I would just have to get use to the difference and then all would be right as rain. I figured I would change some settings to make it more to my liking. Then I realized what the root password was for and I forgot it, damn!

Well, now I am up and I know my root password. It was time to get down and dirty. I wanted a good Word processing program. I loaded up Star Office (now Open Office) and that was more than sufficient (It was the only one I knew about) but KDE office suite was OK too. It was nice to choose what office I wanted to use. I configured Mozilla because of what I read online. It too was very nice. GIMP was nice, everything was nice. Even though Linux did not have the selection that Windows did, I was satisfied with what was available to me. Then I realized that I really did not know what software was available to me. If I was not doing the research that I was on Linux in general I would be lost to what are good programs. I know nothing about Linux.

I think I represent the standard user out there. I see things in the store and I have the impression that that is the best version out there (Red Hat, Mandrake and what was on the shelf). I looked up Red Hat and Mandrake and choose between those two so I could buy it at the store. All the other reviews on other distros (am I using the word right) seem all to be the same… I looked for the easist for me at the time. There is too many versions out there with wierd names. BeOS was so easy to use it loaded right up and was beautiful…sigh.

I have Windows 95 on one computer and I have never ran an update on it (It is not on the internet) and it still runs as fine as it normally does. But it seemed to me that Linux is always evolving and updates are very common. This scared me away. I want the system to run fine with out me doing anything (maybe a security patch now and then.ack Windows). With Windows updates come once and a while (95, 98, 2000) but It seems that Linux is updating all the time and I got tired of keeping up. I just wanted it to work, no hassles, I am just a user.I do not know if the latest update is going to benefit me. What if I miss an important one? What if it fouled up the system. I guess I do not have the confidence with Linux that I do with Windows.at least I know what to expect. I am afraid of Linux. It requires stuff from me that I do not have, I guess. I just want to install it. It works but I do not have to do anything with it again for quite some time. I am not brave enough to explore it.

I hope he speaks the mind of everyone? He sure read my mind!

Some of the fears expressed by the writer still exists but a lot has changed. Linux has evolved so much since 2002.

– It is a fact that the default installation settings for some distributions (distros) of Linux can be much easier than installing Microsoft Windows. Pre -requisite knowledge required is the ability to read and click a mouse. That easy!

– Ubuntu Linux did not exist in 2002. It came on board 2004.

– Yes, so many Linux options out there but newbies won’t go wrong starting with some distros like Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Mandriva.

– System stability and uptime is a way of life for Linux.

– Linux antivirus? What is that?! Windows antivirus? Sure, trailer loads!

REFERENCE : http://www.osnews.com/story/1761


  • that's great. will be formatting my windows vista partiton hopefully for good this weekend too. got tired of it. after a virus attack, almost no app runs anymore. will install xp on virtualbox n use that along with ubuntu. except i have another very compelling reason to install vista as host again, i will have only ubuntu as host.

    • I think i will be settling for mandriva instead. Firstly, i have always had a preference for Mandriva's more extensive GUI configuration options. But most importantly, the hotkeys of my laptop did not work well with UBUNTU 10.04

  • I have finally decided to take the plunge, switching Windows 7 from being the host OS in my virtualization setup to being my guest OS. Ubuntu would be my main OS.

    I intend to use Acronis True Image 2010 to convert the Windows 7 partition to a Virtualbox compatible virtual hard drive.

  • that;s true. people dont really want to change except they are forced to. even when they are given compelling reasons to. this doesnt only apply to OS choices though. i think it is a natural human trait.

  • I dont tink posting an article from 2002 when linux for desktop was just getting on its feet is a fair assesment of what is attainable. however, it does show the magnitude of improvements that has been made in a short time. i guess the internet wasnt as much a big deal then as it is now.

    • Yes, Linux in 2002 is not a too fair assessment but i was pleasantly surprised about the milestones Linux had achieved even then.
      The essence of my reference to the write-up, unfortunately, has not changed and that is THE FEAR OF CHANGE. The writer's reaction to a change to Linux is still what most of us still go through.

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